Need another New Year’s resolution this year? Believe it or not, you do!
One of the best things you can do this year for yourself and your family is to create an estate plan – or, if you already have one – make sure it is still up to date.
Estate laws have changed significantly over the past 15-20 years, and it is important to ensure that your documents remain legally compliant. Beyond the legal issues, however, it is important that you revisit your plan to ensure that the plan you set up for your family, friends, and charities is still relevant and consistent with your wishes.
Here’s a short checklist of things to consider when evaluating whether you need to update your existing estate plan:
- Have you gotten married or divorced?
- Have you had a child?
- Have you had a death in the family?
- Have you retired?
- Have you inherited money or assets?
- Have you loaned money to your children?
- Are your children adults now, such that there is no longer a need to defer their distributions from your estate after your death?
- Are the individuals you chose to manage your estate still willing and able to do so? Do you still want them to be in charge?
- Are there any specific gifts of personal items – such as jewelry, vehicles, or collectables – you wish to make?
- Have you provided adequately for your pets and their care?
- Do you know how the beneficiary designations on your insurance, retirement plans, and bank accounts are set up?
- Have you acquired any new assets that should be added to your Living Trust?
If you need to set up an estate plan, or if you have an existing estate plan that may not be up-to-date, feel free to give us a call at (916) 525-7980 to schedule a consultation to meet with one of our estate law attorneys.